You have just bought a pound of ground beef from the grocery store. You want to make sure that you store it correctly so that it lasts as long as possible. But how long does ground beef last in the fridge?
The answer to this question depends on a few factors, such as the type of beef and how it is packaged. In general, however, ground beef lasts for approximately 2 to 3 days.
How Long Does Ground Beef Last In The Fridge
Ground beef or mincemeat is a versatile and economical ingredient that can be used in a wide variety of dishes.
If you have purchased a bulk package of ground beef from the grocery store, then it is important that you divide this into smaller portions and place the portion you need in the fridge wrapped in a plastic bag and the rest in the freezer.
Raw ground beef should be stored on the bottom shelf of the fridge as well. This will ensure that the beef is kept at a safe temperature. If you do not want to separate bulk ground beef into smaller portions, then it can be frozen instead. Ground beef can be frozen for up to four months or indefinitely if stored at 0 degrees C or below.
It's better to store ground beef in its original packaging, unopened until needed.
If you are buying raw ground beef from the butchers then is best to ask them for storage advice. This is because ground beef is freshest when bought from your local butcher.
The butcher can advise you on the quality of the meat and how long it's been on display. That said, try and use it within 2 days of purchase and store it in the fridge correctly tightly wrapped in plastic wrap.
Why is my ground beef grey?
The pigment in meat, called myoglobin, is responsible for the meat color, bright red (or purplish) color. It will continue to be this color if oxygen is present. However, if no oxygen is present then the meat starts changing color to grey or brown.
How to store ground beef after opening
lack of oxygen will make ground beef or any other type of red meat change color, that doesn't necessarily mean the meat has gone bad. There are many factors that could make the meat change color, provided the meat is stored properly and under the right temperature in the fridge or freezer, before you throw it away, give it a good sniff and if it still smells fresh then it is good.
However, if you have kept the ground beef longer than the use-by or sell-by date then you should discard it immediately. Even if it still smells fresh, the quality and safety are no longer guaranteed.
If you would not be using the ground beef immediately then you are best storing it in the freezer. You can store it in the freezer up until the use-by the date provided it is unopened and still in good condition.
How Long Does Cooked Ground Beef Last in the Fridge?
Cooked ground beef will last up to 3 -4 days in the fridge in an airtight container. You should not leave it out on the countertop for longer than 2 hours or it will become a breeding ground for bacterial or other microorganisms.
Make sure the meat is cooked until browned and no longer pink. the internal temperature of cooked ground beef when checked with a meat thermometer should register 160F/72C
How to tell if ground beef is bad?
Spoiled ground beef raw or cooked is very easy to detect because it will have an unpleasant smell. If the ground beef smells sour, off, or like ammonia then it is probably spoiled and should not be eaten.
Also, spoiled meat would have a brownish color, the blood would change color to a thick creamy color, and the meat would be sticky.
There is coming back from this, so discard the meat immediately!
- Store the meat or ground beef in the fridge immediately you get home under the right fridge or freezer temperature
- Check that there is no leakage in the package before storing away. If there is a leak, use it immediately or toss it.
- Keep in mind the use-by date and make sure the meat has not already expired or neared its use-by date when you buy it.
- Cook the ground beef properly to kill all microorganisms before eating it.
- Be sure to not leave the meat out for more than 2 hours on the counter otherwise it might become a breeding ground for bacteria or other microorganisms.
- You can store the meat in the freezer on the date of its use-by-date provided it is unopened and still fresh